TMF in the Field: CTEET Learnership Programme – changing lives through nature

TMF in the Field: CTEET Learnership Programme – changing lives through nature

In this week’s #TMFInTheField, we celebrate Youth Day, by introducing you to The Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) Learnership Programme. The programme was started in order to provide learnership opportunities to young individuals, with limited educational opportunities, from communities adjacent to nature reserves.

 In 2014, CTEET became the first organisation in Cape Town to run accredited Nature Conservation: Resource Guardianship NQF Level 2 learnerships in Cape Town and since the start of the programme over 79 youth have been involved. These individuals have completed the courses with training such as first aid, chainsaw operation, brush cutter operation and firefighting, along with their accredited NQF qualifications and unit standards.

For the duration of the programme, the individuals involved are placed on City of Cape Town nature reserves and CTEET-managed conservation areas, where they are involved in day-to-day conservation activities and exposed to real-world work experiences. Through this process, these individuals are not only educated, but complete the programme with work experience and knowledge, which puts them in the best position possible to continue with their careers. Over 93% of graduates have gone on to further training or permanent employment on completion of the programme, which, to us, clearly indicates the success of the Learnership Programme.

One particular success story is that of Ntombi Rafu. She was involved in the first learnership, NQF level 2 Nature Conservation: Resource Guardianship. After successfully completing the programme, she moved on to further training and started on the NQF level 4 Nature Conservation: Environmental Practices course. After graduating from the programme, Ntombi went on to full time employment at Steenbras Nature Reserve, as a field ranger. She started out her career in conservation as a very quiet and shy employee on the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) and is now a confident, qualified, field ranger. Furthermore, she is the first female field ranger to ever be employed on this reserve. She is regularly praised by her managers for bringing in fresh ideas to implement on the reserve.

The Table Mountain Fund plays a major role in the funding of these programmes. Our involvement contributes to the employment of a Learner Mentor who advises, coaches, mentors and assists the individuals on the programmes. Many of these individuals have not been in formal employment role before and the mentor has played a significant role in the successful graduation of those involved. The funding also provides top-up fees for the additional skills development training, such as first-aid and firefighting, adding to the skills of the individuals involved and improving their CVs and chances of permanent employment.

To find out more about CTEET and their Learnership programme visit:

Table Mountain Fund

Launched by Sir Edmund Hillary, The Table Mountain Fund is a capital Conservation Trust Fund that develops and funds projects to protect and restore the world-famous natural heritage of the Cape, known as the Fynbos.

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